Thursday, June 9, 2011

Record A Cop for Ignoring Your Assualt, Go To Prison

The story about a Chicago woman who is being prosecuted for recording a conversation with police authorities after they tried to dismiss her complaints that she was sexually assaulted by a police officer has my blood boiling. I'm so angry I think I need to listen to some NWA.

From the Huffington Post:
When Chicago police answered a domestic disturbance call at the home of Tiawanda Moore and her boyfriend in July 2010, the officers separated the couple to question them individually. Moore was interviewed privately in her bedroom. According to Moore, the officer who questioned her then came on to her, groped her breast and slipped her his home phone number.

Robert Johnson, Moore's attorney, says that when Moore and her boyfriend attempted to report the incident to internal affairs officials at the Chicago Police Department, the couple wasn't greeted warmly. "They discouraged her from filing a report," Johnson says. "They gave her the runaround, scared her, and tried to intimidate her from reporting this officer -- from making sure he couldn't go on to do this to other women."

Ten months later, Chicago PD is still investigating the incident. Moore, on the other hand, was arrested the very same afternoon.

Her crime? At some point in her conversations with internal affairs investigators, Moore grew frustrated with their attempts to intimidate her. So she began to surreptitiously record the interactions on her Blackberry. In Illinois, it is illegal to record people without their consent, even (and as it turns out, especially) on-duty police officers.

"This is someone who is already scared from being harassed by an officer in uniform," said Johnson. "If the police won't even take her complaint, how else is a victim of police abuse supposed to protect herself?"

Moore's case has inspired outrage from anti-domestic abuse groups. "We just had two Chicago police officers indicted for sexual assault, there have been several other cases of misconduct against women," says Melissa Spatz of the Chicago Task Force on Violence Against Girls & Young Women. "And now you have Moore, who was trying to report this guy, and she gets arrested. The message here is that victims of unwanted sexual advances by police officers have no recourse -- that the police can act with impunity."

If the Chicago cops recently indicted for sexual assault are convicted, they'll face four to 15 years in prison. That's the same sentence Tiawanda Moore is facing for trying to document her frustrations while reporting her own alleged sexual assault: Recording an on-duty police officer in Illinois is a Class 1 felony, the same class of crimes as rape.
I posted about Illinois crackdown on recording police officers before, but this is ridiculous. If you follow the link the article goes into a lot more detail about Chicago's corruption problems and the harassment of other people under the guise of wiretapping laws. Now my only hope is that Moore's case goes ahead and these laws can be challenged. Unfortunately, the case keeps getting continued.

1 comment:

  1. It is illegal to record someone without their consent?
    Isn't surveilance done daily? It's ubiquitous! Suppose someone is violating the law and you have it captured on film (or whatever you record with). Is that still illegal?

    OK, now imagine the ones violating that law are police officers. Why is it suddenly illegal? These assholes have those dashboard cameras they record every stop, every drunk, every kid smoking weed, every poor schmuck not wearing his seatbelt...whatever.
    Then, they say, consent to be recorded is implied. Isn't it about time we held the police to the same standards as every other citizen?


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